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Edwin A. Abbott
Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions is an 1884 satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott.Written pseudonymously as “A Square”, the book used the fictional two-dimensional world of Flatland to comment on the hierarchy of Victorian culture, but the novella’s more enduring contribution is its examination of dimensions.This masterpiece of science (and mathematical) fiction is a delightfully unique and highly entertaining satire that has charmed readers for more than 100 years. The work of English clergyman, educator and Shakespearean scholar Edwin A. Abbott (1838-1926), it describes the journeys of A. Square, a mathematician and resident of the two-dimensional Flatland, where women-thin, straight lines-are the lowliest of shapes, and where men may have any number of sides, depending on their social status.Through strange occurrences that bring him into contact with a host of geometric forms, Square has adventures in Spaceland (three dimensions), Lineland (one dimension) and Pointland (no dimensions) and ultimately entertains thoughts of visiting a land of four dimensions—a revolutionary idea for which he is returned to his two-dimensional world. Charmingly illustrated by the author, Flatland is not only fascinating reading, it is still a first-rate fictional introduction to the concept of the multiple dimensions of space.Several films have been made from the story, including the feature film Flatland (2007). Other efforts have been short or experimental films, including one narrated by Dudley Moore and the short films Flatland: The Movie (2007) and Flatland 2: Sphereland (2012).
Acerca de Edwin A. Abbott
Edwin Abbott Abbott (1838-1926) was educated at the City of London School and at St John’s College, Cambridge, where he was senior classics fellow and a college fellow. After ordination and marriage he was appointed, when only twenty-six, to head his old school, which he served from 1865 to 1889, becoming one of the most celebrated headmasters of his age. A teacher of genius, he inspired a procession of able pupils who were to make their mark in a wide range of subjects and professions; the most notable was probably H. H. Asquith, who became Prime Minister in 1908. Under Abbott the school pioneered the teaching of such subjects as comparative philology, chemistry and English literature. Besides teaching, Abbott’s vocation lay in writing, which he retired at fifty in order to pursue, publishing works on Shakespeare and Bacon as well as a number of both scholarly and speculative books representing liberal views in matters of religious belief which were well in advance of the great majority of his contemporaries.
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